The Redbird Report 04/02

The Cardinals lost only twice in 62 games they led after seven innings last season, but they equaled half of that total Tuesday night.

Colorado scored one run in the eighth on a throwing error by third baseman Troy Glaus, erasing a 1-0 Cardinals lead, and another that inning on a bases-loaded walk issued by Randy Flores.

But the Cardinals lost their rescheduled opening game of the season largely because they scored only once in 5 1/3 innings off Kip Wells, who was a disappointing 7-17 in his one season pitching for them last season. Wells allowed just a solo homer by Yadier Molina leading off the fifth inning.

"You can't question (Wells') talent," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "When he pitches to locations like that, he's tough to hit."

Ryan Franklin, who had a rocky spring after a bad last two months last year, gave up a single by Troy Tulowitzki to lead off the eighth, and Todd Helton raked a groundball double. Then Glaus threw wildly home after fielding a slow roller by Matt Holliday. Tulowitzki scored the tying run, and Glaus conceded that with a good throw, he would have caught Tulowitzki.

After Franklin walked Garrett Atkins to load the bases, Flores fanned two hitters before walking Jayson Nix to force home the lead run.

ROCKIES 2, CARDINALS 1: Kyle Lohse made his first Cardinals start a successful one, throwing five scoreless innings before coming out after 74 pitches. Kyle McClellan, a St. Louis native making his major league debut, and Russ Springer reeled off one scoreless inning each, and manager Tony La Russa anticipated Ryan Franklin and Jason Isringhausen would do the same, but Franklin faltered.


--Manager Tony La Russa said he was happy to see that INF Scott Spiezio, released by the Cardinals in February after the Cardinals learned the extent of his off-field incident in December, had caught on with the Atlanta Braves. Spiezio was signed to a minor league contract. "I've got to call him and wish him the best," La Russa said.

--Although Tuesday technically was Opening Night, it wasn't quite the same for La Russa. "You don't have the festivities," said La Russa, whose team won the World Series in 2006. "There is a difference."

--C Yadier Molina's homer in the fifth inning Tuesday, which accounted for the lone Cardinals run, was the first opening-game home run by a Cardinals catcher since Mike DiFelice had one in 2002.

--RHP Ryan Franklin's loss was his fifth straight dating to last season, when he was 0-2 in both August and September.

--RHP Kyle Lohse, by pitching five scoreless innings in the season opener, lowered his career ERA at Busch Stadium to 2.39 in four starts.

BY THE NUMBERS: 11 -- Triples the Cardinals had in spring training, just two shy of their total for all of last season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "All I know is they are winning players." -- Manager Tony La Russa, on his new left side of the infield, 3B Troy Glaus and SS Cesar Izturis, who will be replacing fan favorites Scott Rolen and David Eckstein.

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